Monuments

It’s the end of another year. And how time has literally flashed by. If you look around. You’ll see a lot more greying and ageing and all that not so fun stuff that comes with the passage of time. Proof of life, I guess. And that our rotations around the sun continue to increase. But therein lies a paradox. Despite the apparent decaying, so much is still fresh and new. 2022 brought with it new life, dreams, inventions and creations, positive changes, ground-breaking developments, and many other good things. Think about it. It’s even as if the Covid-19 pandemic never really happened. I think they’re calling it an endemic now. Which means it’ll be a normal and commonplace occurrence for the rest of our lives. But I don’t mean to say this lightly. We continue to mourn the lives lost in that season. But we must acknowledge a bitter, sweet truth. That life goes on. It’s a continuous exchange of ashes for beauty. Sadness for joy. And sorrow for laughter. So, we always have a reason to keep hope alive.

This is why December is a good time to pause and reflect. On how the year started. How it’s been going. And how it’s expected to end. Because, if there was ever a time to introduce change, this would be one. Though, the truth is every day is a good day to introduce change. So, don’t get stumbled by this yearend thing either! But depending on the lens by which you do life. Some are already in 2023. Others are preparing to get into 2023. And some are still trying to wrap their heads around 2022. Whichever person you are, taking the honest time to reflect will add value.

And that’s what we’re doing as a business. It’s been a great year. We’ve achieved so much. And learnt even more. We’ve been tested. We’ve endured. We’ve stretched ourselves. And folded into spaces never imagined possible. We’ve celebrated both the small and big wins. We’ve adapted. And we’re more aligned with the growth we expect to see going forward than ever before. To remain relevant in this ever-evolving world, so much more will be required from us. Simply because men are becoming wiser and more creative by the day, and doing so much more all over the world in their different fields. It’s critical that we never lose the heart that’s attuned to these vibrations.  

Which makes this a great point to flip to today’s conversation. The Oxford Dictionary defines Monument as “a statue, building or other structure erected to commemorate a notable person or event”. Now, I believe we would all agree that monuments are greatly important. When erected at the right place and time, and for the right reasons, we need these places of remembrance. They provide a physical point of contact to connect with significant moments past. As our lives are melting pots of things ancients and those new. That is, the past defines the present, to an extent. And the present defines the future, to an extent. And we see monuments all over the world today. In fact, the tourism industry is majorly focused on the erection and maintenance of monuments. With even the location of some being the subject of many heated debates.

However, these aren’t the monuments I’m focused on today. Rather, I’m concerned with the ones we unknowingly erect in our own lives. And which have the potential to hold us back in more ways than we can fully appreciate. Take success, for example. And this is purely by way of example for the purposes of elucidating the message. Because the list is vast and wide. Like children. They can also become monuments in the lives of their parents. Most notably in instances where conception was a struggle. And so, the parents devote their lives to raising their children. But I’m digressing here.

While it’s always a good thing to applaud one’s successes and praise one’s achievements over time, one should be careful not to build monuments around them. We get it. To achieve the very thing you’ve invested yourself in, is huge. Moreover, to arrive at a place where that success is tangibly evident; how awesome! I believe most, if not all, of us want that. However, it’s possible to build your life around these moments as the end game. What I means is, in striving for success, it’s possible to erect monuments representative of the success you’ve already attained. For instance, by holding fast to one’s title, material possessions, and reputation. Constantly putting them before you and everyone else. Doing everything necessary to sustain and keep them. And feeding off the accolades they come with.

Let’s go deeper. Oxford defines Idol as “an image or representation of god used as an object of worship”. Similar interpretations include “a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved or revered”. You see. The issue with monuments like this is they tend to become idols, and therefore objects of worship. And this is serious, friends.

Worship is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity”. Meaning, as you revere and adore the success you’ve attained, you risk making the objects of it lord over you. And once these things become lord over you, albeit unknowingly, you’ll worship them. Just like that, the monuments built around your success become your idols too. The house you built from the ground up; the top of the range car you drive; your improved quality and standard of living, etc. And from there, you serve these things. Prioritising them, obsessing over them, and probably even boasting about them too.

But here’s the thing about worship. It always comes with sacrifice. Because a price must be paid. There’s a cost to your sacrifices. And you need to be careful who you worship as this will directly influence the sacrifices you’re willing to make. And let me tell you for free. Some have sacrificed way too much. Made a few mistakes. Taken a few bad decisions. Compromised in too many ways. And lost more than they should have. Simply in their pursuit for success. But this thing is so subtle, friends. Because it creeps. Firstly, into your heart. And then to the centre of it all. And one day, time catches up with you, and you won’t have anywhere to hide from the trouble that finds you (in whichever shape or form, or whatever way, it comes).

You must be wondering. How can you identify if you’ve built monuments in your life? It’s easy. Examine yourself. How much importance do you place on certain things? How important is it for you to be seen in a particular light? How much time and money do you invest in the pursuit of these things? When you weigh up the balances, how are you doing in the other areas of your life?

But, please don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying you shouldn’t desire success. What would be the point of pursuing your dreams if not to be successful and fruitful? It’s just a caution against building monuments along the way. Because the moment you do that, you erect boundary walls right in front of you. Declaring that’s as far as you need to go. And so, ultimately can go. And even if all you’ve amassed comes with a glory. You’ll still miss out on the greater glory beyond that point.

So, at such a time as this when we pause to reflect, this blog is a reminder to us, just as we hope that it is to you. That while we should recognise the achievements of 2022. And celebrate them. We’ve passed them. So, don’t stop there. The goal is to reach for the stars. Which means to continue in one direction only; upward. And as we do this diligently and faithfully, to remain humble too. Because it’s so easy to get puffed up in the grand moments.

In the same vein. If 2022 came with certain missteps and regrets. Don’t get stumbled by those either. Because they can become monuments too. And therefore, idols in your life. Where you obsess over them, repeatedly beat yourself up because of them, and even struggle to forgive yourself. Don’t do it! Mistakes are simply opportunities to grow. No matter how tough. Recognise the errors made. Learn the hard lessons. Apologise to whom it’s required. Pray about it. And then leave them behind. Keep it moving. Learn to build a certain tenacity of spirit and to keep your eyes on the bigger picture.

With that, we would like to thank you for your patronage and goodwill throughout the year. You continue to carry us and we’re grateful. It’s humbling that you would choose us in a world of many options. Our promise remains the same. To provide freshly prepared heavenly treats, using the highest quality ingredients. We look forward to surpassing your expectations in 2023 and beyond!

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas. Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, is the reason for the season. We trust you’ll keep Him at the centre of your celebrations. We would also like to wish you a Safe cross over into the New Year, and a Prosperous and Fruitful 2023!

Yours in baking,

Chi

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *